Hello from Panama

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John Doe
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:06 pm
Real name: John Doe

Hello from Panama

Post by John Doe » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:14 am

Hello, my name is John Doe (yes, don't laugh) and I am a high school student in Panama City, Panama. I am planning to build a demo fusor for a science fair, and then proceed to build a full on neutron producing fusor. I have browsed the forums for a while now and have already taken apart two microwaves to salvage the MOTs. I plan to create a chamber that has a metal dome as a top (stainless steel salad bowl) and a polycarbonate slab on the bottom as the viewport. As far as I know, polycarbonate will do fine for a demo fusor (outgassing at around 35 mtorr), but I couldn't be happier to be wrong and learn something new.

For me though, the most important will be the calculations and research. I am conducting plasma research with this fusor, so I do want to make sure that conditions are ideal, and I also want to make sure that I can actually research something.

So far I need to source:
- a variac
- transformer oil
- inner grid wire
- a polycarbonate slab
- rubber seal/silicone seal
- a ton of equations on plasma
- a ton of research on plasma

I hope to be in the Plasma Club soon.

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Dennis P Brown
Posts: 1622
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 2:46 pm
Real name: Dennis P Brown
Location: Glen Arm, MD

Re: Hello from Panama

Post by Dennis P Brown » Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:35 pm

Glad you are trying to join the plasma club.

Relative to some of your needs, I used a stainless steel welding rod for my inner grid; using a metal tube as a guide, I bent the rod around it a few times. Then using a vice to hold one of these loops, then using vice grips bent the others to be at various right angles forming my "Spherical-like" grid.

Synthetic automotive oil works very well as a high voltage tolerant oil.

For a demo fusor, a good gasket material is an old car/motorcycle tire inner tube. Cut as needed to create a continuous circular strip (for a big chamber, a truck tire tube might be required.)

A telescope mirror blank (not too expensive if 6" or less) makes an excellent base and using very inexpensive diamond drill, easy to cut access holes for electrodes and pumping tubes. A thick walled wine bottle can make an excellent demo plasma chamber and can be cut using very inexpensive 'bottle cutters' - a rubber stopper and short metal tube thru it can be used for a pump out and voltage access (use a vacuum grade rubber hose of sufficient length to prevent conduction and use this to connect the vacuum pump to that short metal tube - the pump MUST be grounded for safety.)

Using the wine bottle, then a flat metal base plate can be used for common ground.

Set's of "plasma physics" equations are useless without extensive knowledge in the field. For instance, in principle, all one really needs is Maxwell's Equations but that is hardly accessible nor practical in any sense of the word - lol. Books on intro plasma physics are not elementary (i.e. accessible without some strong physics training: college Junior level E&M; and integral calculus is essential) and even with these tools, one then still has a steep learning curve to master plasma physics. Software programs (search past posts in the forum for open source ones) are available and do all the math/physics for you. But then a lot of plasma physics understanding is lost.

Be extremely careful using MOT's - they are absolutely lethal! Use spark plug wiring and make certain no deadly HV is exposed.

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